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What the donor-advised fund payout rate means for philanthropy and how it fits into the bigger charitable giving picture

June 08, 2021

Those of us who work with donor-advised fund (DAF) donors every day know that they are caring, committed, and creative givers. We also know they use DAFs for both their long- and short-term giving. This has never been more apparent... read more

Venture philanthropy: The secret weapon for unlocking biomedical research's full life-changing potential

June 04, 2021

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much reflection around "lessons learned" across all sectors. In the biomedical research space, we've seen science meet the urgent need for safe and effective vaccines at miraculous speed to... read more

What COVID-19 has taught us about the humanitarian system and women's rights organizations

June 02, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck — and with it came public health measures including stay-at-home orders — women's rights organizations (WROs) the world over were quick to sound the alarm: Gender-based violence (GBV) would increase. Women and "marginalized" groups would... read more

5 Questions for...Marisa Franco, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Mijente

May 31, 2021

Marisa Franco is co-founder and executive director of Mijente and the Mijente Support Committee, a Latinx and Chicanx advocacy organization and digital and grassroots organizing hub. Founded in 2015, Mijente's campaigns have resulted in a number of electoral victories, including... read more

The pain of leading while Black

May 25, 2021

It's been a year since George Floyd was murdered by people who were supposed to protect and serve him. I can spend time analyzing how the nonprofit sector has — or hasn't — changed since then; but there are plenty... read more

How trust-based values can transform philanthropy

May 21, 2021

Winston Churchill is credited with being the first to say, "Never let a good crisis go to waste." While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in immeasurable pain and suffering, it has also inspired action around how philanthropy can better address... read more

Intentional philanthropy to diversify science

May 17, 2021

Last week, Michael Bloomberg announced a $150 million gift to my alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to provide permanent funding for a hundred STEM PhD students from minority-serving institutions. The gift is noteworthy not for its amount but rather for... read more

Strategies for nonprofit success in a post-pandemic landscape

May 11, 2021

A recent survey by the Nonprofit Finance Fund found that 60 percent of nonprofits experienced conditions in 2020 that threatened their long-term financial stability. As a result, most nonprofits had to reimagine how they engage with donors and the beneficiaries... read more

A case for self-support: serving ourselves in a time of great stress

April 30, 2021

"How are you doing?" I asked a donor on a phone call last summer. Her response stayed with me. "I'm doing pandemic fine," she said, before explaining that that was the kind of response one gives during a public health... read more

5 Questions for...Frances Sykes, President and CEO, Pascale Sykes Foundation

April 27, 2021

For much of its existence, the New Jersey-based Pascale Sykes Foundation has worked to strengthen low-income working families in the New Jersey/New York region through what it calls the Whole Family Approach, a preventive (as opposed to crisis-driven) strategy that... read more

The next Silicon Valley must-have? A private foundation

April 23, 2021

While the pandemic may have shuttered businesses across the country, Silicon Valley tech companies have defied the odds. In 2020, IPO capital raising hit its highest level in a decade. Start-up valuations soared, and blockbuster IPOs, like the one for... read more

Social issues are getting personal

April 21, 2021

I’ve talked in this space about how social issue engagement builds from what interests and engages us: we educate ourselves, get motivated to act, then look for like-minded people to join in pushing for change. In the recent past, research... read more

5 Questions for...Pete Gurt, president, Milton Hershey School and Catherine Hershey Schools

April 19, 2021

Unable to have children, chocolate magnate Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine, established the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 1909 as a boarding school for orphaned boys. A decade later, Hershey created a $60 million endowment for the... read more

More Americans may be going back to work, but their jobs are getting worse

April 16, 2021

Last April, the coronavirus pandemic brought the longest economic expansion in American history to an abrupt and shocking halt. In just a few short months, the unemployment rate shot up from a fifty-year low of 3.5 percent to nearly 14.7... read more

The 7 Recruiting Principles of Highly Effective Nonprofit Boards

April 15, 2021

The challenges of governing a nonprofit are often more complicated than those faced by board members of similar-sized for-profit entities. This is because nonprofit board members are called upon to be trustees of the public good, voices for their communities,... read more

5 Questions for...Carly Bad Heart Bull, Executive Director, Native Ways Federation

April 13, 2021

Carly Bad Heart Bull joined the Native Ways Federation (NWF) in April 2020 as its executive director. Launched in 2006 in Longmont, Colorado, by the American Indian College Fund, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Association on American Indian Affairs,... read more

Getting rid of standardized testing will penalize kids from underserved schools 

April 09, 2021

For the first time in half a century, the University of California will admit thousands of high school seniors who did not take the SAT or ACT. With the coronavirus pandemic impeding students' ability to safely sit for the exams,... read more

What does ‘Jumanji’ have to do with advocacy?

April 08, 2021

Released in movie theaters twenty-six years ago, Jumanji became an instant classic. In the movie, an ominous drumbeat called to unsuspecting players as they neared the mysterious game, drawing them into its world. In 2017, the movie’s success was rebooted... read more

11 questions you should always ask a recruiter

April 06, 2021

Rather than ignoring the next email or call you get from a recruiter, think of it as a learning opportunity — even if you aren’t seriously considering leaving your current position. In most cases, the experience will help you learn... read more

Jobs for America’s Graduates supports our nation’s most vulnerable students

March 29, 2021

Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) was founded forty years ago to address the inequities experienced by too many young adults in America. Over those four decades, JAG participants have shown that a well-executed model can help those historically held back... read more

Supporting the South's small businesses is supporting an equitable recovery

March 26, 2021

Like the rest of the nation, small businesses across the South have faced unprecedented challenges since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of them saw demand drop and had to close their doors as their reserves were depleted. The... read more

Empathetic leadership during the storm

March 17, 2021

"Lead with an iron fist," said some. "Never let them see you cry," others recommended. "You were born to lead," many affirmed. Countless people have offered advice and encouragement to me as a leader over the years. Yet the idea... read more

To save lives, fund syringes

March 15, 2021

When COVID-19 struck, the United States was already facing a number of public health crises, with national rates of overdose, HIV, and viral hepatitis rising due to increases in substance use linked with a surge in prescription opioids. The pandemic... read more

What COVID-19 has taught us about investing in public health

March 12, 2021

COVID-19 continues to pose novel challenges to health systems around the world. With the rapid depletion of stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE) and severe shortages of physical space in which to care for those affected by this perplexing and... read more

Are you inspiring action for change with both a short- and long-term approach?

March 05, 2021

When I talk with organizations about what they are doing to inspire action for change, they often tell me how they use stories about impact to keep their most loyal donors and supporters motivated. Typically, this involves a communication plan... read more

Philanthropy is contributing billions to Indian development, but who is counting?

March 02, 2021

It is an exciting time for philanthropy in India, especially institutional philanthropy. The sector has come a long way since 1892, when the Tata group established one of the first philanthropic trusts in the country, the JN Tata Endowment. More... read more

5 Questions for...Helene Gayle, President and CEO, Chicago Community Trust

February 26, 2021

In Chicago, recovery from the Great Recession was uneven, the lingering economic impacts of the downturn most keenly felt by low-income individuals and Black and Latinx communities. A dozen years on, the COVID-19 pandemic has been equally as devastating for... read more

Balancing long-term thinking, short-term metrics, and flexible project planning

February 24, 2021

Over the past several decades, a number of different critiques of nonprofit work have emerged. Inevitably, these critiques have a strong basis — they identify real and specific issues in how nonprofits work — but collectively they may present a... read more

Charter schools have contributed to education equality and saved lives

February 22, 2021

For African Americans, learning and knowledge has been — and continues to be — the drumline of survival and success. Enslaved black families knew this. It's why they risked severe punishment by breaking laws that forbid them learning how to... read more

Climate philanthropy beyond the check: holding banks accountable

February 18, 2021

Climate philanthropists are often called on to support grassroots activists fighting fossil fuel projects in their backyards — like the Black community in Louisiana's Cancer Alley that is protesting the siting of yet another petrochemical plant or the Standing Rock... read more

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."


    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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